2020 hopeful Michael Bennet: 'I don't think I'm out of step' in saying socialism is not the answer

Sen. Michael BennetMichael Farrand BennetHouse Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 'The Senate could certainly use a pastor': Georgia Democrat seeks to seize 'moral moment' Some realistic solutions for income inequality MORE (D-Colo.), a 2020 presidential hopeful, said on Sunday that his dismissal of socialism as a solution for America is not out of the mainstream for the Democratic Party.

"I don't think I'm out of step," Bennet told ABC’s “This Week.” "I think we have 230 years of being the longest-lived democracy on the planet. That's something we need to preserve."

 

 

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Bennett made the comments in response to a viral moment in which his fellow Democratic presidential candidate, former Colorado Gov. John HickenlooperJohn HickenlooperThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue The Hill's Morning Report - Republicans shift, urge people to wear masks Hickenlooper beats back progressive challenge in Colorado primary MORE, was booed at the California Democratic Convention over the weekend for saying a candidate espousing socialism could not defeat President TrumpDonald John TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address MORE in 2020.

Quipping that Hickenlooper’s primary error was “denounc[ing] socialism in San Francisco,” Bennet conceded that “we have had 40 years of no economic mobility in the United States … 90 percent of the American people have not shared in the economic growth over the last 40 years.”

For those not reached by the benefits of economic growth, Bennet said, “those periods of economic growth have acted as a recession, and as a result, they can’t afford the basic components of a middle-class life.”

A poor American’s chances of advancing to the middle class, Bennet added, are lower now than they have been in generations.

“That is tearing at our democracy, and if we don’t figure out a way to address it… we’re going to have real problems,” he said, saying that candidates need not embrace socialism to believe in the idea that “everyone has a share in our prosperity.”

Bennet, who is on the moderate end of the Democratic primary field, made headlines last week when he volunteered to work with one of the faces of the progressive flank of his party, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezDemocratic strategist Andrew Feldman says Biden is moving left Hispanic Caucus asks Trump to rescind invitation to Mexican president Nadler wins Democratic primary MORE (D-N.Y.), and one of the most conservative Republican senators, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzTrump administration grants funding extension for Texas testing sites Hillicon Valley: Democrats introduce bill banning federal government use of facial recognition tech | House lawmakers roll out legislation to establish national cyber director | Top federal IT official to step down GOP lawmakers join social media app billed as alternative to Big Tech MORE (R-Texas), on legislation to ban former members of Congress from corporate lobbying.